Man who voluntarily gave up DNA guilty of murders

AP News
Posted: Nov 14, 2011 5:38 PM
Man who voluntarily gave up DNA guilty of murders

A man who was not even a suspect until he voluntarily gave up his DNA was convicted Monday of killing three New York women more than 15 years ago.

Francisco Acevedo, 43, was found guilty of the serial murders on the first day of jury deliberations at the Westchester County courthouse.

He could be sent to prison for 75 years to life when sentenced Jan. 17.

The killings occurred in Yonkers in 1989, 1991 and 1996. Each woman was found strangled, naked, bound at the hands and facing upward. They were also linked to each other by DNA, but police did not know whose DNA it was until 2009.

That's when Acevedo, who was in prison on a drunken driving charge, gave up his DNA sample as a condition of an optional parole application.

A Yonkers cold-case detective said investigators had looked at "way more than 100" other potential suspects over the years before they found Acevedo's blood sample and matched it to the killings.

When Acevedo was arrested on murder charges, "he wasn't very happy to see us," Detective John Geiss said last year.

District Attorney Janet DiFiore said Monday, "The evidence based on DNA testing allowed these three murder victims to point the finger of guilt at this defendant."

At trial, an expert testified it was statistically impossible for the DNA found in vaginal swabs from each of the women to be anyone's but Acevedo's. And a motel clerk said he saw Acevedo with one of the women and then found her dead in her bed.

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The victims were Maria Ramos, 26, of the Bronx, killed Feb. 5, 1989; Tawana Hodges, 28, of the Bronx, killed March 28, 1991; and Kimberly Moore, 30, of Greenburgh, killed May 24, 1996.

Acevedo was acquitted of three counts of rape. Police had said Ramos and Hodges were prostitutes.

Acevedo's defense acknowledged he had sex with the three women but denied the rape and murder charges.